Contact: Carolyn Maschke, Public Information Officer
(229-352-4275, 229-869-0388): Carolyn.Maschke.dph.ga.gov
Update April 18, 2017
At this point our team has tested approximately 98% of those in the community who were deemed to be at more
than low risk of being infected by the index case, 427 people, mostly students, have undergone TB skin testing
during the past two weeks and only 16 have tested positive. That is a conversion rate of 3.7% and it is very possible
that some of the 16 who tested positive may have already been expossed to TB before the current case became active.
All 16 of the patie3nts with a positive skin test have undergone a recent chest x-ray and all reports have thus far failed
to show any sign of active tuberculosis.
So as of Friday afternoon, our rate of positive skin test (3.7%) is similar to what we would expect if we performed
random TB skin tests on the general population, and there is no evidence that any of the patients with positive
skin tests have any active disease. As you know inactive, or latent, TB cannont be transmitted.
This is good news.
Dr. Charles Ruis
Director, Southwest Georgia Public Healther District
Update on TB Investigation at Miller County High School (April 7, 2017)
COLQUITT, Ga. - The contact investigation into possible exposure to tuberculosis (TB) at
Miller County High School is well underway, with around 250 individuals having been tested,
public health officials say, Southwest Health District, the Miller County Health Department and
Miller County Schools are working together to manage possible TB exposure at MCHS.
"To date, tests results indicate more than 90 percent of those tested are unaffected by TB
infection," said Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Charles Ruis. "Less than five
percent have TB in their system. That's very encouraging."Dr. Ruis stressed that there is a distinction between tuberculosis infection and disease, you
experience symptoms and you are contagious."
He said there is only one individual affiliated with Miller County High School with active TB.
"That person is on effective medication," Dr. Ruis said. "Usually a patient is no longer
contagious after two weeks of medication. The health department is observing to assure the
patient is taking the required medication, as with all cases of active TB."
Patients with abnormal skin test outcomes are receiving instructions from the health
department, said Miller County Health Department Nurse Manager Darleen Cox.
"If the skin test outcome is abnormrmal, we will notify you and arrange for additional
evaluation, including a chest x-0ray." she said.
"Even if your child has not been identified as being at highest risk of exposure, if you
still wish to have your child tested, you may schedule an appointment to bring him or her
to the Miller County Health Department for a TB skin test, "Cox said. "The fee for this test
is $ 27." Insurance typically pays for the test.
The child's primary care provider may be able to provide the service as well.
Tuberculosis disease is a condition that can spread from person to person through the air.
It usually attacks the lungs, but it also can attack other parts of the body. It is not easy to
get TB. Repeated exposure over a long period to a person who is contagious is usually
required to contract the disease.
Because the disease is airborne and not contracted thorugh touch, it does not benefit to
clense surfaces to prevent the spread of TB germs.
Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight
loss. Additional information on TB can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/TB/
For more information, contact the Miller County Health Department at 229-758-3344.
Follow "Southwest Georgia Public Health District" on Facebook!.
Baker Calhoun Mitchell Decatur Dougherty Early Grady Lee Miller Mitchell Siminole Terrell Thomas Worth